How to Start Running

Hey everyone! I am probably at this moment in time enjoying life on the Oregon Coast, doing a little hiking, a little beach running, and hopefully basking in the glory that was a 5km PR.  You will hear all my updates from Marathon training and a Surrey 5km recap later this week, but while I’m away I’ve been lucky enough to have two awesome bloggers agree to guest post for me.

So without further ado, I’d like to introduce Mary from A Walk in the Woods, who wants to share with you her journey to starting running and how you, too, can run, even if you think you can’t.  Be sure to head on over to her blog and show it some love as well!

How To Start Running

Hi everyone, I’m Mary and I blog over at A Walk in the Woods.  My blog follows my journey to lose 80 pounds and find a happier, healthier me.  When I first started my journey in January, I knew that I needed to find a physical activity that I enjoyed.  I started off with walking, but in June I decided to try running.

When I started my blog, I was inspired by reading about so many other women who had taken control of their health and fitness by starting running.  Though I was nervous about how to start, I was determined to at least try.

I had tried running a few years earlier, but never progressed and I just wasn’t sure if I was “a runner”.  When I tried running a few years ago, I would literally run until I felt like I would die, then I would stop and walk.  For some reason, I could never get past that point.  A friend of mine told me that you just have to learn to run through the pain and it would get better, so I tried to just keep going once, but got the most horrible stitch and ended up stopping and walking again.

I started to think that I just wasn’t a runner, so I gave up.  I was determined this time, however, to not give up!  So, I started with two basic steps – first I got myself a good pair of running shoes and secondly, I found a Couch to 5k training programme.  Both of these steps were critical in me succeeding.

The Couch to 5k programme starts by introducing running very gradually.  Depending on the programme, you literally start running for one minute, walking for a few minutes, running for another minute and so on.  As the weeks go on (my programme ran for 10 weeks in total), the time you spend running increases and the time you spend walking decreases until you reach the point where you’re not walking at all.  I can’t explain the magic behind this process, except to say that it works!  As you increase your running time each week, your lungs get stronger and stronger and suddenly you’re able to cope with greater distances.

When I started running I weighed about 200 pounds, I was overweight and not in the best physical condition.  You don’t have to be slim to start running!  Did I have aches and pains in my joints?  Yes!  However, I persevered and soon all those aches and pains had gone.  Were there times when I felt like giving up?  Hell yes!  But, this time I had made up my mind that I was going to finish the 5k training programme!  I’m a 36 year old mother of two amazing kids, I’m not the youngest, fittest, or fastest person out there – but what I lack in those areas I have made up for with determination!

I started running on 17th June 2012 and on 4th August 2012 I ran 5k for the first time in my life!  I ran the whole way, without stopping or walking and I felt absolutely fantastic!  On 31st August, I competed in my very first 5k race, and despite being horribly nervous beforehand, did not come last (I came second to last!)!  I am now training for running 8k in December and have recently started trail running.  I can honestly say that I’m addicted to running.

So, I just wanted to share my story and to encourage anyone reading this post who might be thinking of starting running.  How do you start?  Simple, get out on the road and put one foot in front of the other.  If I can do it, I firmly believe that anyone can!

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